New Year’s Resolutions for Writers
As writers, we have a unique set of new year’s resolutions that we make. Here are some of the best ones I’ve made:
1. Committing to work-writing-life balance. I have a full-time job in addition to my writing career, and I’m guilty of ignoring the life part in favor of writing my novels.
2. Measuring activity instead of results. There’s no guarantee I’m going to write anything good in the next hour… all I can do is measure the time I’m spending writing.
3. Not taking myself, or life, so seriously. We’re writers because we love writing. That doesn’t mean we have to be nose-to-the-grindstone writers, or Atlas with the (fictional) world on our shoulders, or Sisyphus, pushing our novels up a hill only to have them roll back down again. We’re allowed to have fun with our craft.
4. Trying a new genre. I’ve had some thoughts for a mystery novel running around in my head. I’d love to try my hand at writing in that world.
5. Doing all the research. In the Texas Heritage Series, which includes my newest book, The Texas Cowboy’s Lady, I had to research the history of some of the biggest ranches in Texas and what happened to them over time. I wanted to make my readers understand the rich stories those ranches have to tell us.
6. Rewriting until it hurts. My editors are amazing. And they keep me on my toes with edits! I can’t even begin to tell you how many rewrites I’ve had to do.
7. Writing when you don’t feel like it. Raymond Chandler said, “I only write when I’m inspired. Luckily, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” Writing when you don’t feel like it is what gets your book written. If you waited until you felt like writing, you’d never write.
8. Starting a blog. I know, you’re busy writing your book, so you don’t have time to blog. And it’s beneath you anyway, right? Blogging is where you practice writing. It’s how people find you. It’s a powerful marketing tool.
9. Making friends with other writers. Writing can get awfully lonely. And your non-writer friends just don’t understand. But other writers? They’re in the trenches with you. If you can’t find any writer friends to physically hang out with, make a coffee date with one on Zoom. You can even try a co-working session, where you both work on your books with each other on the screen.
10. Quit fixing to get ready to get started. All that preparation is unnecessary. Just start. Write down a word. Type a sentence. Dictate a paragraph. However it is that you write, start writing.
Happy new year!
About the Author
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).
Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.